Advertising Education or Condemnation


Lets talk about images for example, most advertisements for clothing
(i.e. bathing suits etc), show shapely thin women and men. This has
led our country to think that fat is demeaning and not socially
accepted. This type of advertising has caused everyone to want to look
like the people in the ads. Diets of all sorts have been developed to
try to meet these expectations. But when their goals are not reached it
causes depression, low self-esteem that in turn causes a poor image is
developed. In my opinion these advertisements have a negative
outreach. Who is to say only thin people look great? Advertisements
do! These ads also have created anorexic teenagers, which has lead to
serious health problems and even death. Advertisements often do not
explicitly urge the consumer to buy a given product; rather they
promise that the products will enhance a person^s life. Opening a whole
range of desiderata including youthfulness, attractiveness, social
grace, security, success, c! onviviality, sex, romance and the
admiration of others. (Parenti page 204) Advertising can also be
educational and rewarding with regards to prices and who offers the
best deal. One such publication that informs consumers of the
best-tested and best-priced items is Consumers Magazine. This magazine
has a test facility that tests various items of same kind without bias
and reports to the consumer via there magazine. Advertising is not
created and used just to provide a smug example of public morality,
advertising is honest because it has to be. (Wood page 225). What I
mean by honesty is the product information is not all ways how it is
displayed. Lets address the issues of ^What we care about^, the way we
raise our children, our ideas of right and wrong conduct, these in my
view are all together. Let^s take a look at liquor and tobacco
advertising. The image of the Marlboro Man is one example. This type of
advertisement depicts a buff, handsome, cool man smoking a cigarette.
What message is this conveying to our young people? That it is cool to
smoke. We all know it has been proven that smoking cigarettes can cause
cancer. I would now like to address all the violence, sex and bad
language that is seen and heard on television and radio (i.e. talk
shows, MTV, etc.). This type of media attracts all various kinds of
people to listen and watch. While the people are entrained in the media
being provided the producers throw in a commercial advertisement. This
type of advertisement causes the consumer to subliminally change they
opinion of various items. Another type of media that the advertisers
use is the Dance shows o! n televisions such as soul train. This not
only is a display of immoral conduct of our young people then the
television stations throw in a commercial advertisement aimed at our
young people. A recent media event that was used to force
advertisement on the population was when the President of the United
States was going through the Monica scandal. Not only did the actions
of the President display immoral conduct, which certainly sends a poor
message to the people of the world. While the public was entrained in
the event the producers once again strategically placed ads in low
points causing sway in public opinion on various items. I^m not saying
that all advertising is negative. The media also sends out some good
messages such as be cool stay in school, anti-cigarette commercials
that depict the health hazards and negative efforts on the family. We
as the consumer in having to evaluate the good from the bad and the
pros and cons of advertisement must evaluate what we truly need and
what is the best product. In making this determination we need to
ensure to make a morally sound decision using good judgement and to
feel good about ourselves. Most of my views and opinions agree with
Shudsons. I like his statement, that advertising is neither misleading
and manipulative as its critics claim nor as worthwhile as effective as
it advocates assert (Shudson page 229) Advertising cannot exist without
the consumer. If the consumer does not purchase the product of
misleading ads this will show the companies that using this type of ad
will not work. In turn the consumer will be able to get a better
product or service.

Work Cited:
Spurgin, Sally Dewitt, Michael Parenti and James Playsted Wood and Michael 
Shudson for Argument, 1992 by Prentice-Hall Inc. 
A Simon Shuster Company, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632

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